When the NeverTrump movement began last year, it gave some of the more principled voices in conservative media a thrilling way to gain attention while opposing party orthodoxy — something rarely seen in our era of ironclad partisanship. The holdouts against the GOP nominee were steadfast for a few months during which Trump seemed destined to fuck up all the way to November. More recently, however, his fortunes have turned. His numbers have begun to rise. Tempted by the specter of a successful Republican bid for the White House, some of the NeverTrumpers are starting to lose their stomach: execrable names like Fiorina, Levin, Shapiro, and more.
Among this number was Erick Erickson, the blogger who put RedState on the map with his marriage of Christian nutjobbery and Fox-News-Ultra bellicosity. Erickson was extreme, but he opposed a nominee who needed opposing. That mattered. He even wrote a powerful renunciation of the Alt-Right in which he openly placed himself to their left, as opposed to positioning them as rhetorically incorrect or simply destined to lose.
Speaking out against brazen racism takes guts for one of these conservative wingnuts. That’s why, a few weeks ago, I read the above article and thought, this guy’s alright. He’s got integrity.
But there’s a reason feelings of charity towards batshit conservatives are so fleeting: they’re too beautiful to exist.
Today, Erickson published an article expressing his continued non-support of Trump in a way that excused everything that would matter about the man becoming president.
To Erickson, Trump is untenable not because of his mental illness or fascist policy, but because he will “do lasting damage to the witness of the Church in America.” The fuck?
So many pastors who email me to beg me to reconsider and so many others who write do so because they think this is the last best chance to get this nation right. They think we will turn a corner after which we cannot turn back. While I concede they may be right, what I see is a level of desperation causing them to place their trust in one strong man instead of God.
"Strong man," sure. Seems like you accidentally hit the space bar, Erick.
Meanwhile, he considers Trump preferable to Hillary Clinton in every area the presidency actually touches.
I see the election of Hillary Clinton as the antithesis of all my values and ideas on what fosters sound civil society in this country. At least with Trump we might, might, get a better Supreme Court. We might get better cabinet picks. In fact, in terms of my view of the country the odds are pretty great that my side has a greater chance of prevailing with Trump than Clinton.
Most offensively stupid is his claim that “Clinton offers neither safety nor freedom and Trump offers safety at the expense of freedom.” What? No! Bad Erick!
How exactly does Trump offer safety? By building a wall and keeping out Muslims? By over-extending the military? There is nothing Trump has ever said or proposed that would make America safer. Quite the opposite.
Trump represents an existential threat to, if not our physical geography, at least the law upon which our civilian control of the military depends. What I’m afraid of with Commander-in-Chief Trump isn’t him actually detonating nuclear weapons. It’s him ordering something so stupid and impetuous that it forces his rational subordinates to violate their chain of command and basically throw the U.S. into something like a coup state. And that’s not a worst-case scenario. There is no way a thinking person could conclude Trump has cogent ideas on national security.
Then again, a thinking person doesn’t talk like this:
It is not just because of my values, but for Donald Trump’s own salvation that I cannot embrace him. The whole purpose of shunning the unrepentant sinner is to drive him to God. We should not put off the steps to push Trump toward reconciliation with his Lord... All Christendom should be ashamed we are putting our needs in this temporary place ahead of saving a soul bound for eternity.
Don’t vote for Donald Trump because endowing him with earthly success will only delay his salvation… in exchange for our selfish short-term benefit of having him as president.
Sorry, Erick Erickson. I thought you were a voice of rationality. My mistake.